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Michael J. Davis



Michael Davis retired as the Band and Orchestra director for Walt Disney World (R) Resort in 2001.  During his tenure with Walt Disney World, he conducted the Walt Disney World Band and Orchestra in the Magic Kingdom and at EPCOT Center for the Candlelight Procession. He also appeared on national TV specials as the personality “Major Mike”, as well as conducted the music for the inauguration of three Presidents of the United States. In addition to his responsibilities as music director, Michael also served as Manager of the Atmosphere Talent and Education Programs and was an operational Duty Manager in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.   Within the educational programs, he was responsible for the development of the educational workshops offered by Disney’s Magic Music Days and he was also responsible for the show concept, audition process and the operational procedures for Disney’s Collegiate All-Star Band and Orchestra ensembles. In 1991, Mike prepared the musicians at Disneyland Paris for their first press conference and served on the Music staff that opened Disneyland Paris.  In 1997-98, he directed the International College Bands and orchestras at Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.  Prior to completing his tenure with Walt Disney World, Michael served as the music director for the opening of

Tokyo Disneyland Seas in Tokyo, Japan.



Michael received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music,

in Chicago, Illinois.  He then attended the University of Wisconsin, Platteville and received a

Master of Science Degree in Teaching Music.  His Postgraduate study was at the University

of Wisconsin Madison in the Doctoral Program of Curriculum Instruction. Mike was awarded a Doctorate of Music Honoris Causa from VanderCook College of Music.


Prior to Mike’s tenure at Walt Disney World, he was the Director of Bands and Percussion Instructor at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.  He also was Band Director and Percussion Instructor at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. Prior to teaching at the University level he taught high school, middle school and elementary band orchestra and Chorus in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. 


After retiring from the ‘Walt Disney Company” Mike served as the Executive Director of a professional non-profit ensemble, the St Johns River City Band City Band in Jacksonville, Florida.   Under Michael’s leadership, the St Johns River City Band has gained national recognition.  In 2003, the band performed at the prestigious Mid West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.  In 2004 Michael conducted the Jacksonville Youth Symphony Orchestra along with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and 2,300 students for Jacksonville, Florida in the national PBS special, “The Worlds Largest Concert” that aired to over ten million viewers.   Most recently, he was honored by the National Association for Music Education, receiving the prestigious Lowell Mason Fellowship Award.

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